Entry from October 15, 2004

As I did on each day of the Republican convention, I am writing poetry for broadcast on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” after each of this year’s presidential and vice-presidential debates. The poems are broadcast side by side with ones by Calvin Trillin, who is writing on the same subject but with a rather different point of view. The fourth of this series of poems, on the third presidential debate between President Bush and John Kerry, is titled Cash and Kerry or “A Plan is not a Litany of Complaints”

Of the Middle Class, John Kerry told us how
The Family “isn’t making it right now,”
For everything they have must soon be spent
With health care Costs up thirty-four per cent.
But if you vote for him he’s got a Plan:
For all, the health care of a Congressman.
And then he told us Bush had broken Faith
With umpty-thousand kids who’d felt the scathe
Of being by the Budget undermin’d
And thus, some Children who’re left behind.
But if you vote for him he’s got a Plan:
To “fully fund” what this Bunch just began.
Remember how th’Economy went to Town
In days of Good King Bill? Now Jobs are down;
This president’s the first, so it appears,
By whom they’re lost in seventy-two years.
So vote for Kerry, for he’s got a Plan:
Sure he can do whatever Clinton can.
But wait! There’s more! For Kerry’s also he
Who of the two’s responsible fiscally!
He even says he’ll save Social Security!
And if you ask him, once he’s Chief Exec,
For all this Stuff, well, can he write the Check?
Though Teresa’s short two trillion, yes he can.
For if you vote for him he’s got — a Plan!

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